Guide to Medals from US Expositions

1904 St. Louis Louisiana Purchase World's Fair Exposition Medals

These are some of the most popular and collectable of all exposition medals. They are interesting because of their unique shapes and design, the unique material they are made of, and 5 levels of medals awarded. The exposition itself was popular and interesting also.

All of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition award medals were designed by Weinman and struck by the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia. The various award medals had different overall shapes, but common central designs.

The Engraver's Notebook (U.S. Mint at Philadelphia) for 1906:
3,300 Grand Prize
9,000 Gold Medal
11,550 Silver Medal
10,000 Bronze Medal
6000 Commemorative (same as Gold award but with Commemorative in tablet on reverse

All of the medals were issued in the new bronze alloy, which was at first called "government bronze." The inscriptions on the tablets noting the award as "gold medal," "silver medal," etc. are merely descriptive and do not refer to the type of metal used. Some have original boxes and some have display frames. These attractive medals were good ones to display.

Retirement Communities

St Louis Grand Prize Medal1904 Grand Prize Exposition Medal
Above: Grand Prize Medal . / Louisiana Purchase / Exposition.1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Hendershott 30-90. Bronze, 74.3 mm x 60.2 mm, 149.7 gm.
 

1904 St Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition medalsGold award medal 1904 St Louis Expo

1904 St. Louis Gold Award Medal.
Sales history - Ebay $249 April 2009.

 

A lovely bronze metal. Designed by Adolph A. Weinman (who later designed the Walking Liberty Half Dollar and Mercury Dime), as one of his earliest commissions for a struck medal. The engravings and medals were struck by the U.S. mint in Philadelphia.

The obverse of the medal depicts two female figures above the date MCMIV (1904). The tall taller figure is Columbia, with her arms spread wide holding the United States flag. The youthful maiden at her side represents the Louisiana Purchase Territory. Emblematic of her reception into the union, the maiden is divesting herself of the cloak of France, the material decorated with bees, the emblem of Napoleon. In the background is the rising sun, marking the dawn of a new era of progress to the nation. Encircling the two figures are the words "Universal Exposition - Saint Louis - United States of America."

The reverse shows an architectural tablet inscribed with "Gold Medal" and "Louisiana Purchase Exposition". Below the tablet are two dolphins symbolizing the nations' eastern and western boundaries, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Above the tablet is a large eagle with its wings spread. The inscription reads "Gold Medal (Silver and Bronze Medals were also given out) Louisiana Purchase Exposition 1904". In addition to the medal a diploma of award was also given to the recipient. The medal weights approximately 3.5 ounces.

The medal is shaped as a 3-point shield, with 14 stars around the border and a wreath on each point. The wreath in the upper left corner has the letters "US" (representing the United States), the wreath in the upper right corner has the letters "NJ" (representing Napoleon and Jefferson), and the wreath in lower point has a Fleur de Lis. More on gold medal

 

Silver Award Medal Louisiana Purchase Exposition1904 Silver Award Medal

1904 Silver Award MedalBronze metal 2-1/2 inches square. Same design within the circle as other award medals.
 

1904 Bronze Medal Award

1904 Bronze Award Medal
Sales Prices Noticed
Jan 2008 $381 Ebay
As you can see, the Bronze award medal is round with the same design as other award medals. This weighs approx 105 grams and measures 2.5" in diameter. Box.
 
expo medals of 1904 exposition1904 commemorative medal st louis

Commemorative Award Medal

Large Official Award Medal, from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis Worlds Fair. This is the "Commemorative Medal" struck at the United States Mint, and designed by Adolph A. Weinman. It is the second lowest mintage of the five Award Medals given by the Exposition Jury, only the "Grand Prize" medal has fewer struck. Pictured on the obverse of the medal is the standard image which appears on all the five medals, and the reverse is the same as the other medals, except for the inscription on the tablet which reads "Commemorative Medal, Louisiana Purchase Exposition." It is struck in Bronze, Triangular in shape, approximately 2 3/4" by 2 3/4" in size,and is in AU condition.

 
1904 Official Souvenir Medal Silver1904 Louisiana Purchase expo medal
1904 OFFICIAL SOUVENIR MEDAL of Louisiana Purchase Exposition
Obverse: Conjoined busts l. (Napoleon & Jefferson); above, around Louisiana·Purchase·Exposition ; below all Official Souvenir ; beaded border.
Reverse: Relief map of U. S. with Louisiana Purchase across that portion representing extent of purchase; above Louisiana Territory / 1803 / 1,000,000 Square Miles / $15,000,000.; below map St. Louis 1904, beaded border.

HK-299 - Silver. Size 21


St Louis Exposition Links
Terry's 1904 Word's Fair Page
Louisiana Purchase Exposition So-Called Dollars
 

 

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